From floods and storms to deforestation, ocean exploitation and pollution, it is the people on the frontlines of environmental destruction that see, and feel, the true power of the environmental and human rights abuses being inflicted across our shared planet.
These communities are also best placed to be environmental defenders, but - as the most disempowered, marginalised and vulnerable of society - they often do not have the power to fight back. We work with, and for, these frontline communities; helping them to expose and document the local environmental abuses, and taking these local fights to the very heart of governments and businesses across the world, finding the right outlet to secure lasting change.
Rapidly developing training programme
Beginning in 2001, working to defend fishing rights in Cambodia, EJF’s Training Programme developed rapidly. Our programme is issue-led and responds to the needs of the local groups. Our training is bespoke, adapting to local skills and expertise and the opportunities and challenges facing our partners.
Over the years the programme has taken EJF trainers to Vietnam to tackle the brutal bear farming trade and its devastating impact on wild populations, to Brazil to protect mangrove forests from the threat of shrimp farming, to the northern coast of Sumatra in Indonesia to document illegal fishing, and again to Cambodia to fight against the use of toxic pesticides in agriculture.
Today, we continue to have cameras on fishing boats, in ports and with activists documenting and exposing the threats of illegal fishing across the world, and work with local communities in West Africa to protect marine turtles, sharks and other wildlife and wild places.
The video training was a great chance for ENV to approach modern technologies for the sake of environmental protection… we learned a great deal of knowledge and techniques.
Trinh Nguyen, Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV)
The power of film
Video and films can and do change the world and are at the heart of EJF’s Activist Training Programme. Through images we give communities a powerful tool. By training activists in the latest video technologies - and research and advocacy skills - we give them a voice, enable them to document and expose local threats, and provide them with the means to influence opinion formers and decision makers.
Through the power of film, we’ve documented environmental abuses in the rice fields and mangrove forests of Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Bangladesh and the tropical coastal forests of Latin America, we’ve gathered irrefutable evidence of pirate fishing in the coastal waters of West Africa, exposed modern-day slavery in Thailand’s seafood industry, uncovered state-sponsored, child labour in the Uzbekistan cotton fields and recorded the first-hand testimonies of those living on the frontlines of climate change.
Focusing on the issues that really matter, and the skills to enable communities and activists to advocate for lasting change, EJF aims to be a catalyst for impressive and tangible results.